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Goddag! I'm a Norwegian Lutheran

October 18, 2004 |

I'm a Norwegian Lutheran born and raised in Minnesota. Currently, I'm stationed in South Korea with a follow-on assignment to Alaska. Korea is a lot like Minnesota. The winters are bitter cold, the summers are mosquito-laden sweat sessions, and everyone is very pale.

I grew up the son of two librarians and your show was a staple of weekend life ever since I was old enough to say the Norwegian table prayer. In my travels, I've always found a way to listen to your show (now on American Forces Network via NPR World Wide). You can't imagine how it brings me back. Everything Minnesota comes flooding into my mind and I'm reminded of where I came from and who I am. Tusen Takk!

Staff Sergeant John P. McCoy
8th Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea

Dear SSgt McCoy, You were very well brought up by those librarians and that's evident in your graceful letter. It is warm without being overly generous. You say, for example, that the show was a "staple" of weekend life ---- which is not to say that it was brilliant or fantastic or awe-inspiring but that it was reliable, like oatmeal or dried apricots or rye bread. You say that I can't imagine how the show brings you back; you do not say that you enjoy being brought back or being reminded of where you come from. This is a very orwegian sort of fan letter. It implies admiration but doesn't go so far as to express it. I like that in a man.

Of course I wonder if joining the Army and getting into the business of disposing of explosive ordnance wasn't your exquisite rebellion against those wonderful librarians. Another boy might have taken up alcohol and fast women, or left-wing politics, or avant-garde poetry, but young Johnny McCoy struck terror into the hearts of his good Norwegian parents by enlisting in the Army and heading for the ammo dump and learning how to pull the fuses from bombs the size of Volkswagens. In any case, I wish you long life and good health and it's a real pleasure to think of you listening to the show, sir.

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